Arkansas Politics

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The small, southwest Arkansas town of Hope is again under a national spotlight for its connection to a presidential campaign, as former Governor Mike Huckabee returned to his hometown Tuesday to formally announce his second bid for the White House. It's also where former President Bill Clinton was born.

Looking Down on Central Avenue in Hot Springs

Hot Springs is the latest Arkansas city at the forefront of a battle to provide legal protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The proposed ordinance, mirroring Little Rock’s recently passed measure applying to city employees and vendors, is being taken up Tuesday night.

City Director Becca Clark is leading the effort in the wake of a not-yet-in-effect state law banning local civil rights protections.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signing a workforce development bill.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will travel to high schools across the state to encourage students to enroll in computer science courses. Hutchinson's office announced Tuesday that the governor will travel to at least 10 high schools this month and that more locations will be announced later.

Each of the selected schools has been asked to perform an hour of coding with the student body before the visit.

The Republican vowed to expand the offerings during his campaign last year and says it will make Arkansas more competitive and improve the workforce.

In Arkansas, Former Governor Huckabee Launches 2nd Presidential Bid

May 5, 2015

With a campaign theme of, “Hope to Higher Ground,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced his second campaign for president Tuesday in the hometown he shares with former President Bill Clinton.

Martha Shoffner
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An attorney for former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner is objecting to a presentencing report that suggests she spend at least 15 years in prison for bribery and extortion convictions.

Attorney Chuck Banks filed an objection Friday to the report in U.S. District Court. Banks says a more appropriate sentence would be about 12 to 18 months, with half served in home detention.

Shoffner was convicted last year on 14 bribery and extortion charges. Prosecutors say she illegally steered state business to a bond broker who gave her cash.

You Tube

In advance of next Tuesday’s announcement by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is to say whether he’ll make another run for president in 2016, a video that will introduce him at the event was released Friday.

It opens with footage of nails being driven into a door, then transitions to a photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton from his first presidential campaign. Then former Huckabee advisor Rex Nelson says, "On his first day in office, Governor Huckabee’s door was nailed shut. It was in Bill Clinton’s Arkansas." 

A top deputy at the Arkansas treasurer's office will return to work Thursday after an internal investigation of campaign-related emails showed no wrongdoing.

Republican Treasurer Dennis Milligan placed Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Brady on paid leave last Friday.

Arkansas News Bureau first reported Sunday about the emails sent in 2013 and 2014 to Milligan's campaign from Brady's email at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, where he was a lobbyist. The nonprofit cannot engage in political activity.

Just a few months after taking office, freshman U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton has another new job to adjust to: dad.

The Republican from Arkansas announced on Twitter Tuesday that his wife, Anna, gave birth to a baby boy, who they named Gabriel, on Monday night. Cotton's office said Gabriel was born in Washington and weighs 8 pounds, 4 ounces.

Cotton is an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and served one term in Congress representing south Arkansas' 4th Congressional District. He unseated Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor in the November election.

Dennis Milligan treasurer
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The deputy chief of staff for Arkansas' treasurer has been suspended with pay pending an internal investigation into campaign-related emails.

Treasurer Dennis Milligan said Monday that deputy chief of staff Jason Brady was suspended Friday.

Spokesman Grant Wallace said the review covers emails sent in 2013 and 2014 to Milligan's campaign from Brady's account at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, where Brady was a lobbyist. The nonprofit cannot engage in political activity.


Authors of a measure to repeal a ban against local civil rights ordinances for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered people are gathering signatures. 51,000 signatures must be gathered within 90 days for the question to be placed on the November 2016 ballot.

Attorney David Couch with Arkansans to Protect Local Rights, said ACT 137 is hateful towards LGBT people. He said he believes there is enough support to get signatures for the ballot and overturn the law.